Applebee's has an 'under 600' menu that has some pretty decent items on it. I had the Asian Crunch Salad. It reportedly only had 550 calories in it. My only complaint is that it had a bit too much vinaigrette/soy sauce or whatever that dressing was. So next time I order it, I will say put the dressing stuff on the side.
Always order the sauces that you can on the side. That includes butter and sour cream.
Taco Bell has a pretty good Fresco menu with items that have under 300 calories, their menu even lists fat grams. I don't even look ate fat grams, sugar, salt, calories, that's what I look at. I'm not really even counting those. I'm educating myself so I can be aware that there are some pretty innocent looking items that pack a WALLOP when it comes to sugar, salt and calories. On a side note: the fresco burrito is DISGUSTING! just don't even try it unless you're a glutton for punishment.
Salads always seem like a good choice don't they? Pitfalls that will add calories to those innocent entrees:
Dried fruit of any kind (sugar)
Meats (especially Chef's salads that use rolled sandwich meats with that processed cheese stuff tons of calories in there and SALT)
Anything that says Crispy or Battered added to your salad is packed with calories
Dressing/Sauces Order it on the side. That stuff is LOADED with sugar and salt.
Those are your stealth sabotage ingredients. They can wreck any good attempt at making necessary changes in your eating habits.
Battered,crisped, fried anything is an automatic signal to avoid that food item. If it says creamy, avoid it. Gravy. Avoid it.
Au jus is fine as long as you go easy on it as it tends to be salty as well.
Be cautious with grilled and rotisserie items. They tend to be loaded down with salt. Same with barbecue.
As always, it isn't so much what you eat, but how much. Knowing your body's signals to stop eating now is just as important as knowing what to eat.
Enjoy your restaurant experiences just keep in mind that because something looks and sounds innocent doesn't make it so.
If you're dropping in to visit, I love comments, even if it's just a howdy!